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Published on Feb 21, 2019
Nashville, Tenn., teachers Megan Hollis and Alexis Scott work long days in the classroom, but still find time to get to the gym five days a week.
That’s thanks to a new Employee Wellness Center, opened by the Metro Nashville Public Schools. The facility includes a gym, health-care clinic, pharmacy, physical therapy services, and more.
David Hines, the district’s executive director of benefits, says the wellness center builds on the district’s long commitment to convenient health care for teachers. Nearly a decade ago, Nashville began converting some school portables to onsite medical clinics.
“The idea was to give people immediate access to primary care,” Hines said. “Our thought was if we can keep our teachers, our employees healthy and keep them in the classroom, we will get better overall educational results.”
A study by the RAND corporation found the onside clinics, which accommodate teacher schedules, have slightly reduced teacher absenteeism.
“It’s convenient to have appointments available outside of just school hours,” Hollis says. “You don’t have to leave school early or take a sick day.”
Scott agrees. “These are nice perks to have,” she says. “When I talk to other teachers in different districts, they go, oh my gosh, I wish we had that.”